Mini Tripods

by walter Dec 7, 2015
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Order bolts from ebay? WTF? It is easier then to order a tripod and not to suffer with defective inch bolts.

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If you have problems with the legs, make sure to print with support. Check out the attached screenshot (cyan color is support material).
Also print at a resonable layer height. I don't think 0.2mm will do...
If anybody needs it, I have saved a Cura 3.2 project with the right settings. Printed on an Ultimaker 2+.

The problem though is that the logs open too much. I don't think that's a print problem. The holes for the leg holders are too lose.


Legs do not move. It broke.
There is no gap.

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Hi, I have problems with printing 7 pads 1 foot always sticking with problems prusa i3 mk8 I'm using titles I've made videoda but always flament wastage: can you give me a clear information to make a clean file: S Thank you thank you very much.

There is a fault in desihn. Legs spread to 180c (tripod sits flat on table.
can you share STEP file for editing?

my legs are stuck to the base.
can you make a design with more clearence and the short legs?

i had this issue too the clearance is too tight i was printing with pla and the expansion glues them in printed twice so far and the legs on both glued to the sides.

I solved by simple post-processing: I took a knife and made cuts on both sides of each leg. Once you hear a little click it's a good sign.Once you hear it try to move leg.

for some reason my legs spread all the way out and the ball join sits flat... any idea how i can get the legs to print a bit stiffer?

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I found that when you tighten the knob to hold the bracket around the ball, the convex surface of the ball acts like a blunt wedge putting a spreading force on the bracket which splits the 3D printed layers apart. After that point, all the clamping force is lost. 3D printed parts have very little strength in tension normal to the layer planes. This could be improved with a pair of bolts, one on each side holding the bracket together, or maybe a metal clip of some type.

These worked really well! The first time I tried to print the big legs, my printer had some problems with overextruding. The three joints were just solid plastic, so it was lost cause. Then I changed the flow rate (in Lulzbot Cura) to 70% and it worked like a charm. I would highly recommend also printing the floppy leg fixer (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1250602) because the legs feel really fragile without it. And for the parts, I would recommend using a longer hex bolt for attaching the legs to the ball head, especially if you're using the floppy leg fixer. A 1/4-20 x 3/4 hex bolt did the trick for me (but still use the 3/8 bolt if you're making the camera mount). I used a 30% infill and ABS for all of the parts besides the legs, which had a 15% infill ABS.

Floppy Leg Bracer for Mini Tripods

Great idea thanks!

How long does this to take to print? And what infill did you print it at?

How long does this to take to print? And what infill did you print it at?

How long does this to take to print? And what infill did you print it at?

How long does this to take to print? And what infill did you print it at?

How long does this to take to print? And what infill did you print it at?

How long does this to take to print? And what infill did you print it at?

How long does this to take to print? And what infill did you print it at?

Hanging the phone by its audio jack? How much do you get from phone repair shops for this one when customers bring their phones with audio jack ripped off the PCB?

You're quite astute in catching on to the designer's master plan. Based on my research the phone repair union will pay around $.12 per phone if you create something that intentionally damages a phone.

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Great looking design. I am going to make one and then maybe a couple. In the meantime I have loaded what my ideal versions would look like via a photo rendering LOL. It will be in the I made one section but will have to be a placeholder until I can actually get it done in the next week or so.

It does not working, bad design! Don't waste your filament for it

Can you be more specific? What part was bad?
I printed 2 and they came out fantastic! I know many others have printed them and no one is complaining!

I printed big one. And when I tried to push the legs, they did not move a single millimeter. When I put a large force, they broke down had not start moving:(

I also broke. I thought it was a print fault but now I have made the third print and it is the same.

idk I printed the small one cuz the big one was too high for my printer, and it came out fantastic. Didn't think I could pry the legs open, but she opened like a $2 whore! :)
I think you need to calibrate your machine. gl/hf

i had the same issue now wondering if i should print the large set
of legs

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Can you use the audio jack version with an iPhone 7?

oh yes, you just need to drill a 3.5mm hole to your iPhone 7.

Or build this with it, like normal people :)

Universal Phone Tripod Mount
by cswaim

Very nice. I was too eager to assemble it, so I made my own fasteners: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1584060

Fasteners for Mini Tripods (thing 1165406)
by jayeye

Thanks for sharing. Needed that :)

Nice ! Could you post some pictures of the printed and installed product !

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That's a very well-designed mini tripod. Printed fine on UM2E. I'm glad that you also included the .STEP files, that's awesome, so I can edit it to suit my needs and screws :D

If anyone out there can't get this to print, I have successfully printed 5 tripods in a row with all different types of PLA filament.

My trick to breaking the legs loose works great every time. Start by heating one leg evenly with a heat gun (hair dryer) until the plastic is very hot, (but not so much to make the filament squishy) then wiggle the leg gently to break it lose. repeat for the other 2 legs run , run under cold water and enjoy :)

Thanks Walter for this awesome print!

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I was looking for this... thanks for the tip, I broke mine trying to force it.. I had to reprint now

I made a simple add-on piece for these cute little tripods. The new piece will fix those broken legs you can sometimes get that open too widely. It's very easy to print and attach to an existing tripod. I did make the "o-ring" channel a little too shallow on the top though.

Mini Tripod Floppy Leg Bracer

Floppy Leg Bracer for Mini Tripods

I'm doing a live print of this tripod if any one want's to check it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Exd2Tr6ChXE

can someone post a remix of this with increased gaps.

i just printed this and the legs are fused at the base. :(

I separated the leg parts in meshmixer and printed. heated the "block" with hot water, bent it slighty, added the legs and bent it back to its original shape. Works great!
Printed with PLA.

Can you post the separated parts?

Thanks Walter. This is so cool. I have not had success in separating/moving the legs without breaking them. I think my printer (MOD-t) isn't printing with enough space between the hinge and the support. Any recommendations?

Thanks! I put some suggestions in a comment below, hopefully they help. Also check out konkel's comment.

The guy who made this is my second cousin.

It's cool to see you on Thingiverse! It's been years since I last saw you.

It's awsome to see this featured, my dad saw it the other day and showed it to me. At our school we're doing 3D printing so he thought it appropriate. They look amazing and the ability to fold is really cool.

Awesome design! Question: can the legs support a DSLR? even if it can't, I would love to modify this to be slightly more adjustable in height for the flashes I'm getting for Christmas. Any chance you could upload the cad file?

Thanks! I haven't tried with a DSLR, personally I wouldn't risk it. I'll try to upload some step files.

That would be AWESOME.

Correction. That IS awesome.

Printing this out now to hold my baby monitor! so excited to no longer have to use books/duct tape/rubber bands and telekinesis to keep it pointing at the baby!

Cool! It's awesome to see people using these designs in ways I've never thought of.

The ballhead only moves sideways, correct?
Can you make a 360 rotating version of the tripod?

Awesome prints and design, BTW.

Thanks!, It tilts +-100 degrees on one axis, and only about 20-30 degrees on the other two (hopefully enough to get things level). It does not rotate 360 on the z-axis the way normal ballheads do. I have another design that does allow 360 degree rotation, but it needs more work so it's been in the design queue waiting for some more inspiration.

i wouldnt hang a phone from the phonojack for any reason. one way of breaking the jack. just be fore warned. thx for the design i will be printing a couple of these though

Yeah, that's a good point, I'll stick a warning in the description. I like to unplug my headphones as a way to stop audio on my phone, which killed the audio jack eventually. Fortunately, it was only a few dollars and a few minutes to replace, but it proabably isn't as easy to replace on other phones.

I haven't gotten the hardware yet. but I Printed the large tripod piece and it doesn't seem like it would stay up like in the picture. The legs pop out at almost 90 degrees. Did I do something wrong ?

It's probably because the design isn't very tolerant of differences between printers. The part that determines the maximum angle is a fairly steep overhang, so it may print very differently depending on the printer, plastic, settings, etc. And a small change in dimensions will have a large effect on the angle. I probably shouldn't have made it printable in one piece, but I wanted to see if it would work.

Congrats on getting featured :)

how long did this take to print with 100% infill?

Probably around 4 hours for the small tripod legs, I'm not really sure.

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Beautiful! Just what I was looking for. A gopro mount would be a welcome adition

Mini Tripod Flash Hat attachment for the GoPro

needs go pro mount STAT

I'll try this one for now: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:98700

GoPro Hotshoe Mount

was literally just looking at this as an option. interested to see how you get on.

Could you do something like this for a phone?

He did it, it's the one with audio jack, he has some photos with Motorola phone in the gallery.

I would certainly not hold a phone by its earphone jack. This is an expensive invitation to the repair shop.

Your shit is so elegant

Great job! It would be even better if you could add a GoPro quick release mount.

Check this out https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2476210.
It's not quick release but still relevant to go pro mount

Mini Tripod Flash Hat attachment for the GoPro

VERY awesome design! However, would be even cooler if everything were 3D printed. I think it's entirely possible!

Awesome but not a single finger pivoted in its socket on the small one. Got any tips?

A few ideas:

  • If your slicer supports horizontal size compensation, a negative value there will increase the gap between the hinges, making it less likely to stick.

  • Lowering the extrusion / flow rate so you're underextruding a bit can help as well.

  • Manually configuring the location of the layer changes can help, you don't want it to happen inside the hinge as that tends to make them more likely to stick.

  • Part cooling can help, I had my cooling fans running at 20%, which is higher than I normally use for ABS.

  • When detaching the legs, using a pen or something on the inside side to support it, they're fragile until the hinge is working.

  • If you get it just right, the hinges will be a bit harder to separate at first, but they'll hold their position on their own. If the tolerances are a bit looser, it'll be easier to get it working but the legs will flop around.

Maybe after more people have tried printing it, they'll have other ideas.

The print came out gorgeous regardless and I look forward to finding success!

I guess it could be useful if you want a tripod mount for your phone in portrait. Most have headphone jacks on the top :/ Be much better if it had a L bracket for landscape mounting of phones

I added a picture of how I imagine it working my phone, but I don't know how many other phones will work this way (I don't actually use my phone as a camera). I couldn't think of a design I liked that would work well with all the phones out there. If I think of one, it'll probably show up on Thingiverse someday.

My question is. How was this featured. (I actually love this but there are no comment except this one)

7 hours after it was posted. It has to be a record. Walter does some GREAT work!

Yeah. This is really useful when making time lapses of printing.

Absolutely. 110% deserved.

Amazing work, Walter!


Sometimes they feature something that's just posted, sometime they feature something that's several years old. I think they just like to keep us guessing :)

There was a post a few years back with some info on what they're looking for in featured things: http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2013/11/08/stylecolor000thingiverse-featured-things

We spend a lot of time digging through the site and there's a conscious effort to not just feature the new and popular. But sometimes the new and/or popular cannot be denied!